Artisan or Franchise?

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aguynamedrobert

Senior Cook
Joined
Nov 30, 2006
Messages
228
Location
California
Well as we all know the USA is filled with Franchise stores that lack creativity and taste...I see restaurants, bakeries, chocolate shops, and other food shops owned by individuals but it is very rare...Does anyone think that the USA will ever get back to artisan shops, family owned business, and creativity in the food scene again? As the popular thing I mean.

Robert
Chocolate Guild :: learn about chocolate, talk about chocolate
 

Steve A

Senior Cook
Joined
Jun 22, 2006
Messages
129
Location
In, but not from, Northeastern NC
Robert -

I love indies. As often as possible I work indies. And soon I'll be the co-owner of an indie. But I currently work for a chain (along with owning my own business) That being said, all chains started out as an independent.

Two things a chain have that many independent restaurants/shops often overlook are great systems in place and 'global' acceptance.

The systems are learned over the years by trial and error and good business sense. Those that work, stay, those that don't get weeded out. And yes, in order to be accepted by everybody, one must dummy down to the lowest or low common denominator of acceptance.

A chain is like a ship at sea clipping ahead at 30 knots. It goes really well in a straight line, but can't easily avoid things that crop up like iceburgs and smaller boats and ships. Their turning radius sucks. An indie has the ability to quickly react to customer demands, trends and fads and price increases (or the occasional decrease); a chain is kind of stuck on it's intended and planned route.

Chains are here to stay. It's the independent owner's job to stay ahead of the curve, react accordingly to the current trends, and, as they often can, treat their people with the respect they deserve.

Both businesses are in it for the money. Independents are also in business for the enjoyment of the job, too.

Ciao,
 

ironchef

Executive Chef
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May 11, 2003
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The SPAM eating capital of the world.
aguynamedrobert said:
Well as we all know the USA is filled with Franchise stores that lack creativity and taste...I see restaurants, bakeries, chocolate shops, and other food shops owned by individuals but it is very rare...Does anyone think that the USA will ever get back to artisan shops, family owned business, and creativity in the food scene again? As the popular thing I mean.

Robert
Chocolate Guild :: learn about chocolate, talk about chocolate

Actually in the last few years, there has been a bigger boom in artisinal type food stores beit gourmet chocolates, candies, breads, etc.
 

aguynamedrobert

Senior Cook
Joined
Nov 30, 2006
Messages
228
Location
California
Well put Steve A....

IronChef: overall they have? well for my own personally taste I am glad to hear that. Sadly around me you can't even find a artisan shop/restaurant...hopefully that will change soon...

I just enjoy to see foods made from one person that change constantly and have a personally touch...nothing wrong with franchises of course. I just think creativity is lowered and I enjoy an individual in a shop or restaurant putting their thoughts and idea's into their meals everytime...but it's just food so it's not the end of the world if I dont get my way lol....

Thanks for the comments everyone. Have a good one,
Robert
Chocolate Guild :: learn about chocolate, talk about chocolate
 

ironchef

Executive Chef
Joined
May 11, 2003
Messages
3,557
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The SPAM eating capital of the world.
Not sure where in Cali you're from, but in LA there's a ton of artisinal gourmet food stores. San Fran also has a lot. I guess they are where the demand is. Manhattan has a ton too, as does Seattle and Portland.
 

VegasDramaQueen

Senior Cook
Joined
Sep 2, 2004
Messages
316
There are tons of artisan shops popping up all over the place. I see them everywhere especially in Californa, Nevada, New York, Chicago and Michigan. They range from bread to chocolates, to vinegars and oils and on and on. They are becoming more numerous and I'm wondering if someday we'll see the word "artisan" applied the same as the word "gourmet." What the **** is a "gourmet" hot dog?? See what I mean? I'm not sure most people even KNOW what the word "gourmet" means any more.
 
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Claire

Master Chef
Joined
Sep 4, 2004
Messages
7,967
Location
Galena, IL
I've traveled quite a bit in the U.S. (a little abroad, but not much). I try to keep my independents afloat, but can only do so much. As long as we live a lifestyle where we are tethered to our cars, the chains will survive. When LaBrea went national, the local bakery died because better bread was available at the chain grocery store. I still frequent my local spice/tea merchant, but how much can you buy? I think my local gourmet grocer might be selling out soon. The local restaurants are, in a word, boring. There is also the fact that many small businesses simply can't be bothered. They use a relative with a computer to do their office work, and simply cannot answer your questions if you call or go in to talk, because they hire relatives who are unemployable otherwise to work rather than those who love what they are doing and are good at it. I AM willing to pay a little more to use the small businesses here in town, and think it pays off in the long run. But it is a tourist town, and my budget only stretches so far. As my husband puts it, we're living on a Galena budget, and the prices are Chicago tourist. My town is small enough that using these smaller stores is appreciated; I stop and chat with the owners or their employees and enjoy it. But many who go down the drain do so for many good reasons.
 

skilletlicker

Head Chef
Joined
Aug 28, 2005
Messages
2,257
Location
Memphis, TN
I don't expect this to be more than a faint and distant voice, heard dimly, if at all, sort of an echo from the wilderness. My search skills, or perhaps the search tools, in the forum aren't good enough to provide links but there have been any number of posts on this order.

X = the poster or a person known by him or her
Y = some food product made by X that is hands down better than anything else available

How can X start a business selling Y beginning from the home and expanding as profit and success allows?

Perhaps I'm reading these posts incorrectly, but it seems to me that, invariably, the answer is that the barriers to such businesses are virtually insurmountable. I don't disagree, but I do think it is a sad state of affairs. It is much more common for a successful "Indie" to be started by a group of drop out lawyers or bond traders than a home cook with a better, if slightly more labor intensive, product.
 
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